United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION
CARRILLO RAMIREZ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Special Order No. 3-251, this pro se
removed case has been automatically referred for judicial
screening. Before the Court are the Motion for
Preliminary Relief Regarding First Amendment Violations
(doc. 21), and Motion to Correct Plain Errors (doc.
24), both filed on April 23, 2018. Based on the
relevant filings and applicable law, the motions should be
DENIED, and the case should be
REMANDED sua sponte for lack of
February 13, 2013, Virginia Dunn (Plaintiff) filed a petition
for divorce from Bradley Miller (Defendant) in the 330th
District Court of Dallas County, Texas, and an agreed
judgment was entered on April 2, 2014. (doc. 3 at 36,
Plaintiff subsequently re-opened the suit with a motion to
modify the child custody arrangement. (Id. at 43.)
On November 17, 2016, Defendant removed the action to the
Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas, alleging
violations of various federal statutes and the United States
Constitution by the state court judge. Dunn v.
Miller, No. 3:16-CV-3213-L, 2016 WL 9651747, at *1 (N.D.
Tex. Nov. 18, 2016). The case was sua sponte
remanded to the state family court for lack of jurisdiction,
and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the decision
on August 17, 2017. Dunn v. Miller, 695 Fed.Appx.
799, 800 (5th Cir. 2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct.
September 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to enforce child
support in the state court, alleging that Defendant refused
to pay court-ordered child support payments. (doc. 3 at 52.)
Although the state court's docket sheet shows that
Defendant was served with citation on December 14, 2017, he
alleges that he did not receive notice and failed to attend
the hearing on the motion to enforce as a result.
(Id. at 5, 53.) An arrest warrant was issued based
on his failure to appear, and he was arrested on February 15,
2018, and released on bond the following day. (Id.
at 5.) On March 8, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to suspend
Defendant's visitation rights, and Defendant filed a
motion to recuse the state court judge for bias.
(Id. at 5-6, 55.) The motion to recuse was denied on
March 27, 2018; the motion to suspend visitation rights
remained pending. (Id. at 7, 55-56.)
April 17, 2018, Defendant again removed the action to federal
district court. (Id. at 4.) He seeks to have certain
injunctions issued in the state court vacated as
unconstitutional, and he also seeks relief from the
requirement that he provide a copy of all of the state court
pleadings with his notice of removal. (docs. 21, 24.)
removed this action based on federal question jurisdiction,
and as a “civil rights removal” under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1443. (doc. 3 at 1; doc. 12.)
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only
that power authorized by Constitution and statute, which is
not to be expanded by judicial decree.” Kokkonen v.
Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994)
(citations omitted). They “must presume that a suit
lies outside this limited jurisdiction, and the burden of
establishing federal jurisdiction rests on the party seeking
the federal forum.” Howery v. Allstate Ins.
Co., 243 F.3d 912, 916 (5th Cir. 2001). “[A]ny
doubt about the propriety of removal must be resolved in
favor of remand.” Gasch v. Hartford Acc. &
Indem. Co., 491 F.3d 278, 281-82 (5th Cir. 2007). Courts
have “a continuing obligation to examine the basis for
their jurisdiction.” See MCG, Inc. v. Great W.
Energy Corp., 896 F.2d 170, 173 (5th Cir. 1990). They
may sua sponte raise the jurisdictional issue at any
time. Id.; EEOC v. Agro Distrib., LLC, 555
F.3d 462, 467 (5th Cir. 2009) (even without an objection to
subject matter jurisdiction, a court must consider sua
sponte whether jurisdiction is proper).
Federal Question Jurisdiction
contends that federal question jurisdiction exists because
the state court has violated his constitutional rights as
well as several federal statutes. (doc. 3 at 1.)
question jurisdiction exists only when a federal question is
presented on the face of the plaintiff's well-pleaded
complaint. Aetna Health Inc. v. Davila, 542 U.S.
200, 207 (2004); Caterpillar, Inc. v. Williams, 482
U.S. 386, 392 (1987). A federal question is presented when
“a well-pleaded complaint establishes either that
federal law creates the cause of action or that the
plaintiff's right to relief necessarily depends on
resolution of a substantial question of federal law.”
Singh v. Duan Morris LLP, 538 F.3d 334, 337-38 (5th
Cir. 2008). To determine whether resolution of a substantial
question of federal law is necessary, courts must determine
whether “(1) resolving a federal issue is necessary to
resolution of the state-law claim; (2) the federal issue is
actually disputed; (3) the federal issue is substantial; and
(4) federal jurisdiction will not disturb the balance of
federal and state judicial responsibilities.”
Id. at 338. “The removing party bears the
burden of showing that federal question jurisdiction exists
and that removal was proper.” Manguno v. Prudential
Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., 276 F.3d 720, 723 (5th Cir.
notice of removal alleges that federal question jurisdiction
exists because this case involves “various willful,
systemic deprivations of fundamental rights guaranteed by the
Federal Constitution, and/or by federal law, and which
deprivations are civil violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
and that are also criminal violations of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 241 and 242.” (doc. 3 at 3, 10.) It
further alleges that the state ...